Ideas, Introspection, Clarity and Action

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Mid July. I’ve had a holiday and some time to breathe since the girls finished school.   We needed it all of us – space and time to process the challenges this year brought and the triumph we managed to find in it all!  It’s been pretty shit.  It’s also been a growth spurt of epic proportions for us as a family and quite possibly each of us individually too.  I know it has been that way for me. 

I haven’t worked walking dogs at all this year and made the decision to stop some months ago.   I think I needed a little time to see how things worked out but I believe it was the best decision to make.  I have had a total blast doing it and wouldn’t change a thing.  I count myself honoured to have gotten to know so many lovely animals and their people and to have been in a position to do it.  

A few years ago the hairs on the back of my neck stood up when I heard these words during an online course when someone who they’d resonated with read them to the group over a call. They’re from Danielle LaPorte.

“Most people will proceed as planned. They’ll stay quiet, suppress their doubts with rationality. They’ll make the choice to save money, save face, not rock the boat. Don’t want to disappoint people. There’s a lot on the line. I said I would, so I should.

Safe. The road to mediocre is always really…safe. And in terms of fulfillment, “safe” is really, really dangerous.

The Courageous Minority will risk being judged as indecisive, unreasonable, and flakey (in fact, they’ll expect it). They’ll take a deep breath and steady themselves for some conflict, a miracle, or both. And they will put on the brakes, throw a wrench into the works, push for change, ask for the unreasonable. Or move on. Completely.

Their risks tend to pay off, because they took them. Even though…they had come so far, invested so much, raised the stakes, had people to please, signed the contract, booked the flight. Even though…it’s really uncomfortable, extremely inconvenient, disruptive and awkward. It’s always awkward.

Courage elevates your perspective of time. You can see that the disruption of risk is temporary, and that playing it safe can extend your numbness for a very, very long time — and that’s how “good enough” becomes toxic.

Mediocrity isn’t benign. Or passive. Or neutral. It’s soul poison.

And “risk” doesn’t seem that risky when you consider that your joy and integrity are on the line.”  Danielle LaPorte

This was like something my Dad would have said  –  he regularly spoke about throwing away the safety nets, taking the risks, stepping out of your comfort zone to be true to yourself – all probably more important to him than a lot of other things in his life (that’s a story for another day!).  It really hit home. It made sense. I had to know more.

So I eagerly looked up Danielle LaPorte. I downloaded the audio books of White Hot Truth and Desire Map and started listening on my dog walks every morning.  Simply put it blew my mind.  That year I spent Christmas to New Year in my chair by the fire desire mapping – doing the work book, diving into myself and absolutely loving the process, the insight, the release of the old and discovering for the first time my core desired feelings for the year ahead.  I used my planner daily (I still do!).  It’s my anchor for the day ahead – my starting point with a full reminder of the feelings I want to feel.  The goal setting that came thereafter was softer, kinder and gentler than any other goals list I’d done before (and in fairness I had not done many as I’m a little averse to the word for some reason!). And I believe I met every one of those wishes that year.  And the next…  And I’m doing it again this year! 

My Mum passed away last year after a very long illness.  My hubby and my girls and my dogs and my lovely friends and family got me through, but a large part of my resilience through that awful time was my daily planning and my CDFs, and endless audio from Ms. LaPorte to keep me company on the dog walks, with her meditations helping me stay calm and centred on the really tricky days and through the longer darker nights. 

So when I started to think about moving on from dog walking, becoming a licensed Desire Map facilitator was the next dream job!  I thought it out of reach but circumstance and persistence lead me to realising it and get to work on it this year.  Every time I sit down to work on my offerings I’m struck by the rich content, the care and love taken with every word and I’m incredibly grateful I get this chance to do this work. I love words, and this work relies heavily on their meaning and magic to inspire, infuse and energise. The Desire Map community and facilitator community is a place of growth, love, kindness and joy. I feel like I’ve stepped into a massive warm virtual hug and I carry it with me as I delve deeper into this work.

Desire Map is a heart centred how to on getting in touch with how you want to feel in every area of your life.  It shows you how to your Core Desire Feelings, and how to use those feelings in your daily life to feel the way you want to feel, and achieve the things you want to achieve.  As Danielle LaPorte says in the Desire Map “You’re not chasing the goal itself – you’re chasing the feelings that you hope attaining those goals will give you.” 

I offer one to one sessions and group workshops both in person and online.  I’m currently planning my first at home intro session with more to come soon and am happy to facilitate these online also.  Intros are a taster of the process of Desire Mapping which will last maximum 2 hours.  These will be followed up with Level 1 and Level 2 Desire Map Workshops.  I hope you’ll join me.  I hope you’ll love it as much as I do.

Just contact me and we’ll make it happen.

“Knowing how you actually want to feel is the most potent form of clarity that you can have.  Generating those feelings is the most powerfully creative thing you can do with your life.”  (from Session 3:  “The Strategy of Desire”, The Fire Starter Sessions

Intro Sessions Coming Soon!

Desire Map is a heart-centred guidance system for making choices, being more present and living your life based on how you want to feel. It’s helped me find ease, joy, alignment, compassion, tenderness and resilience among many others and I’ve been so taken with the impact for me, I’ve become a facilitator for this work. I’m thrilled to share the experience and give you a taste of what Desire Map can do for you. Contact me for more details.

June already?!

I’ve been so caught up in my own little bubble this year that it is only now, with summer looming and the pressure easing, that I am finally coming back to the projects that I took January and February off work to concentrate on. Things changed. It got messy, then really tough, then heart-breaking, shattering and mucky. I walked around with my heart and soul on my outside for the first part of this year and I couldn’t even begin to think of work, or new things, or diving into the dream stuff! The challenge continues but with more breathing space and less pressure and I’m looking forward to melting into a summer of softly working to bring all the good stuff to life while I spend some time with the family.

May has come and gone and I’ve survived my first ever birthday without my birthday buddy (my Mum) by my side. We swam at dawn, scattered her ashes, and marked the day with the reverence and glee she brought to every single birthday she ever touched. It sucked to feel the emptiness of missing her on this day. I don’t guess that it ever won’t but I’m getting used to filling it up with good living and family time that she’d no doubt approve of.

I’m back getting ready to facilitate workshops but now with the added bonus and work to do for facilitating Fire Starter Sessions also (thanks to the generosity of the force that is Danielle LaPorte!). I’ve begun one to one sessions and I love this work so much it lights me up. It needs to be top of my list for 2019. There will be an introductory session or sessions coming up this summer. Contact me if you’re interested or looking for further info!

For those new to the concept, Desire Mapping is a heart-centered approach to creating a life you love using your core desired feelings (how you want to feel) as your guiding light and daily focus. It has changed my life.

Intro sessions are a beautiful sneak peak into how the workshops work and the insights and truths you can discover within your self. No right or wrong, just the heart of the matter.

I’ve started the new Desire Map Course online and wow it has been everything and more than I expected.  It is stunningly heart-centred, beautifully inspirational, soft, creative and illuminating.  I have the stirrings of new core desired feelings coming…  Does “fucking awesome” count as a CDF I wonder?  More on that later… 

My other 2019 project is working with Nutriri to help in any way I can.  Founder Helen James is building this social enterprise with her fantastic vision and love of open collaboration and inclusivity.  Nutriri aims to provide people with the means to improve, from the inside out, their relationship with their bodies and food, help them find food ease and discover nourishing self-care choices.  I’ve moved through my own body image journey over the last few years and it’s turned into something much broader and holistic than just body image.  My Dad would be delighted.  It’s all about the journey inward towards the soul after all, as he liked to say.   (He’s somewhere now nodding his head saying, “I told you so little one”. ) 

I believe Nutriri embodies this all-encompassing bigger picture and more.  Nutriri will be hosting its first online seminar later this year and I’ve volunteered do something Desire Map for it too – out of the comfort zone I go!  Bring it on.    

There’s been much this year that I hadn’t expected or wanted but it has gifted me insight and growth! It’s reminded me who of I am, of the strength I didn’t know I had and the priorities and values I hold dearest. I’m considering it all a nudge from Peggy to step into my power and my life with vigour and vibrancy. I’m studying again; doing my own mid year desire mapping, planning my first workshops and looking forward to standing in resilience and joy for whatever else may come. I hope you’ll join me for some of it!

Your Heart is Genius

Danielle LaPorte and Team D are launching a new and improved online Desire Map Course. Danielle’s taken what she’s learned in her years of Desire Mapping and she’s gone deeper with new content and exercises that I have no doubt will blow me away. I’ve already started daily heart centering practice and it is just magic. If going deeper into your own feelings and improving your life by leading from your heart is for you then read on!

So what’s it all about? Well here’s the strategy: Always start in the heart.

What old world healers have known, science is now proving. Our emotions lead our biology. Stress brings chaos in the heart, positivity brings calm and steadiness. When we “think” with our hearts, we build our lives from a cellular level. Desire Mapping gives us the ultimate self-agency—and it generates what we’re all wanting: joy, peace, and ultimately, a more loving world.

The Desire Map Course from @DanielleLaPorte will bring you back home, to your heart. Right now, it’s free for a limited time when you sign up. I’ll see you in there:

Kicking off 2019!

Dear Bloggity-blog.  I am taking a little time at the moment to concentrate on some projects that need my attention and love and immersing myself in them as well as some much needed family time – which is what most of the last week seems to have been.  The projects are Nutriri and my new job as a Desire Map Facilitator.  They are both a joy to work on but there is a lot to do too!

I’ve just begun training with Nutriri with the aim of becoming a group leader providing a compassionate alternative to restriction diet clubs.  I can’t wait to be part of the plan to help members find moderation through mindful eating and self-compassion to find food & body ease.  I can always use more of this myself so I’m currently taking part in the 5 Weeks to Body Love online coaching.  Week one coaching was yesterday.  It was eye opening, inspirational and great to connect with like minds under the ever lovely, loving, supportive and amazing Helen James!  I think it is something incredibly special and I’m feeling very honoured to be part of it. 

I signed up a month ago as a Desire Map Facilitator.  The content is quite simply amazing and I think it will enable me to facilitate truly magic moments in the workshops/events to come.  I already know the resilience desire mapping brought to my life in 2018 and I am so excited to bring it to others in a way I hope will empower them to feel how they want to feel.  These workshops will be for women seeking inner reflection, joy, self-love, nourishment and clarity to realise their core desired feelings and to use them as the basis for a more holistic, heart-centred life.   It means a lot to me to be able to do this and I’m really hoping to infuse it with the joy and strength this process has given me in what was a very difficult year.

At the moment I’m still immersing myself in the content but beginning to flesh out some ideas about how I want to make it happen.  I’m going to start small with my first event and work my way up to (I hope!) bigger numbers.  At this moment in time I’m not ruling out any options, so this may happen virtually or in person here in Wicklow or elsewhere (If you want to fly me somewhere exotic and warm that’d be a bonus!)  It can also happen in groups or one to one sessions.  If you would be interested in taking part in a small group for my first workshop, then please visit my website and register your interest here and I’ll be in touch with you as soon as I have date, venue and price fixed. 

New Year (29/12/18)

I love my new year reflection and writing and figuring out where to park the year that’s been.  I adore this time of year – the space between Christmas and New Year and all that time to reflect.  This year was so tough I didn’t know where to start or how to put into words the incredible whirlwind it’s been.  It felt forced, difficult, not for me this year.  So, just this.



So I signed up and I’m all set to spend some serious time going through my materials and planning out my first event.  I’ve spoken to a few friends this week who were like, “Congratulations, it’s fabulous!  Now, what is it?”   

​​I posted last week about how I came to this point and my adventure with Desire Mapping and how excited I am to do this work and spread this joy.   In my excitement and enthusiasm I forgot to explain more clearly!  As a Licensed Desire Map Facilitator, I’m able to guide you through the process of discovering your Core Desired Feelings so you can use them to create more meaningful goals and a more fulfilling life.  And it’s an amazing process.  I know because  did it last year and am currently joyfully working my way through my own core desired feelings for 2019.  So when/where for my first event?  I’m working on it and will post as soon as I have any details! If you’d like to be included please do let me know. 

Here’s the lovely Danielle LaPorte with an audio sneak peak if you’d like to know more.

Mapping Desire (11/12/18)

I never imagined the way that one thing could lead to another over the last few years.  Embrace, lead to screenings which lead to Fabulously Flawsome and also lead me to the Unstoppable program where someone read a quote that touched my heart and soul so much that I wrote the name on my hand.  Danielle LaPorte.    I searched and found a website which totally blew me away and started listening and reading and sharing her work.  I devoured it all – the beautiful honesty, the soul searching and the heart lead quest to find truth and get in touch with the authentic self.  I never imagined that work, going so deep inward, could be beautiful and fun or that it’d bring me so much joy. 

Last year around this time, I ordered my first Desire Map Planner and began the workbooks which would help me uncover my “Core Desired Feelings”.  Yeah it was hard work, but the sort you enjoy.  Every exercise in the workbook left me with more knowledge, with something I hadn’t known before about myself.  Most of it positive and inducing gratitude for all the wonderful people and experiences I’m lucky enough to have in my life and for the resources I’m blessed enough to have access to.   Over the time between Christmas and New Year I spent a lot of time on the workbook and loved every minute, whittling feeling lists down to what really mattered and eventually coming up with five core desired feelings I wanted to feel during the year ahead.

My Christmas gift from my kids was the Desire Map Planner and I set about using it daily (or mostly daily – with some gaps for disconnected days!) to remind myself of those five feelings and how I would go generate those feelings in my daily life.  “What I will do to feel the way I want to feel”.

Let me jump back in time quite a few years here and explain that I haven’t always coped too well under pressure or sadness.  I shut down, crack up, disconnect and tend to try not to connect with my pain or to deal with it.   I fall apart.  It’s no doubt been exacerbated by a myriad of symptoms that I have now discovered are linked to my thyroid health.  I get overwhelmed easily.  Then I get down because I feel I should be able for more.  Then I get even more overwhelmed and more down and so the spiral continues and I can’t find the way out.  I’ve suffered from depression in the past and it’s left me very scared of that downward spiral.  I believe I know the signs but the thought of it happening me again frightens me greatly and I really needed to find a way to keep rooted in my strength and joy. 

This year though, I had a Desire Map and that was my lighthouse in the more foggy days of 2018.  My Mum died in August of this year after a lengthy dance with death which exhibited her strong and stubborn streak and her love of life to the full.  For many reasons I won’t go into her illness and passing was I thought, going to be fraught with difficulties, emotional bombs and old hurts and wounds reopened.  And what did I do?  I rose to the occasion like she’d want me to.  I kept one word in my mind through it all because it tied in with my core desired feelings and encapsulated what I wanted to cling to through this time.  The word was Grace.  Desire Mapping was my rock of grace in what should have been an absolutely horrendous time.  I feel like I floated through it.  I feel like I’m still floating through it.  It has been sad in such a beautiful way that thoughts of my Mum bring tears with smiles and I don’t shut down, disconnect or fall apart.  I let the wave of emotions wash over me and I store the memories for retelling my girls when the time is right.  I am capable of feeling joy and sadness at the same time and not falling apart.  I am strong.  I am resilient.  I am rooted to my joy no matter what. My heart is open. 

That is what desire mapping has done for me.  That is why I decided to take a massive leap and become a desire map facilitator.  I’d love to share with others what this magic has done for me and I can’t think of a better way to do it.  I have a funny feeling it’s going to get busy fairly quickly once I’ve familiarised myself with the guidebook and materials for running the events.  I really hope so.  I’d love nothing more.  To that end, bear with me and check in.  Get in touch if you’re interested and I’ll be delighted to let you know when I have an event booked and ready to roll.

I’m still beavering away on my day job – walking dogs in the mornings while my kids are at school.  I love the work and I love all the dogs but not so much the weather lately with all the rain and wind we seem to have had so far this year.  Hot drinks and popping home for clothes changes are the order of the day and keeping me going but yeah, I’m finding the work hard this year and beginning to think about the possibility of making a living from doing some other dreamy work like facilitating workshops and running groups! 
I’m still working with Nutriri and looking forward to training up to become a leader and to get a local group up and running.  I am already giddy with the anticipation of providing the compassionate, mindful alternative to restriction diet clubs!  And I am still a Body Image Movement Global Ambassador with a mission to get us all Embracing and opening our minds to body equality and self-love.    

I have no doubt that I’ve a couple of angels in my corner this last while.  I hope they’ll stay to see how things unfold and be proud.   

Punishment (05/10/18)

I took the most beautiful autumn stroll the other day with one of the dogs I walk.  It was sunny, warm, the leaves are really starting to turn.  I listened to the wind in the rushes and the trees a while then donned my headphones for some LaPorte wisdom as I was in need of some soulful bringing back to me!  If you’ve seen me and I’m smiling and you’re wondering why, I’ve likely been listening to this stuff and shouting my aha moments out loud.  And yes, sometimes my doggy clients do stop to join in the celebration! 

This really stood out the other day.  I’ve been a master of self-punishment in the past and still have to reign in the less than loving self-talk on a regular basis.  I think we all do it.  I know it’s the bedrock of self-deprecation that sees many people looking outside of themselves for the fix in their lives.  Slimming clubs rely on it to sell you some shaming once a week and the media rely on it to sell you more ways and products to make yourself other than you are. 

I couldn’t agree more with this – reward yourself every day.  Just for being here, living, doing all you do.  Look inward – like my old Dad used to say – towards your soul.  You are all you are looking for. 
Happy Friday! xxx Alison

Peggy 27/09/18

My poor neglected blog!  I haven’t felt like writing or honestly, doing much of anything that involves thinking too much or talking too much or seeing people or…  The list goes on!  I’ll cut to it.  On August 11th, after a lengthy dance with death and exhibiting her stubborn streak for the last few weeks in particular, my Mum died.  My initial reaction was relief that her battle to cling to life was over.  She’d been very ill for some time and didn’t have much quality of life stuck in her bed in her nursing home unable to walk or even eat.  It felt like she just found freedom somehow and the only sadness in my heart at her passing is marked repeatedly with good memories that make me smile.  

Grief is so intensely personal and I began to grieve my Mum so long ago now that it feels a bit like it has for the last few years – the slow fading of her presence in our day to day lives and the tortuously long goodbye that was her passing, actually makes this feel like the full stop to it all.  This has not been the hardest part for me.  The hardest part was the last 8 years.  I had a very dear friend say to me that I’ve been grieving now for 10 years if I include my Dad and others lost to one thing or another.  She’s right.  I’ve waded through it all (some days knee deep in shit and muck and utterly stuck!).  I’ve gotten through and even lately begun to thrive and live and feel the joy.  But I never felt the bedrock of my life as I have these last few years.  It’s joy. I can feel it with the rest of it and it’s always there as a solid foundation holding me up.  I will admit though, I have seriously been feeling bad about not feeling bad – where on earth did I think that’d get me?!  It stops today.

Honestly, I feel a sense of joy that Mum has slipped away to some other place, hopefully better and that now I get to remember her the way I would like to remember her.  I’m remembering feelings, smells, snippets of time spent with her, sayings, food, wisdom and giggles that I’ve not recalled for a long time.  Right now it feels like I get to reclaim her memory from the disease that robbed her personality and the way life has gone these last few years and that, well that’s just the most beautiful thing about it all and I’ll enjoy that for as long as it lasts.  My heart sinks on a regular basis when I remind myself she’s gone, but my heart will get used to that, and I do always follow it with a smile or a chuckle – Peggy style. 

So, I’m back.  I’m painfully slow getting back into the everyday and trying to focus back on the stuff that keeps me lit and joyful.  I get to choose now how to celebrate the life my Mum had and the joy and love she brought.  I’m letting go of a relationship that has darkened my light and stolen my joy for some time and removing myself from the grip of something that served only to make me sad.  Autumn’s here (today could have fooled me though!) and I’m looking forward to hot chocs, fires, boots, beanies, beautifully long leafy walks with the collection of pooches I’m blessed to be entrusted with.  I hope there’ll be participation in some projects to spread the embracing and take on diet-land and of course, some crafty projects to zone out on and get creative with.  Me time.  Slow.  Steady.  Easy.   Bright. Lit up.  Released.  Free.  Hopefully with a spark of all the lovely beings we’ve lost these last few years and always with the gratitude of the love they brought.

 The time will come
when, with elation
you will greet yourself arriving
at your own door, in your own mirror
and each will smile at the other’s welcome,

all your life, whom you ignored
for another, who knows you by heart.
Take down the love letters from the bookshelf,

the photographs, the desperate notes,
peel your own image from the mirror.
Sit. Feast on your life.
Derek Walcott